It’s relatively rare to have the opportunity to go to the Olympics in person.
The big, wide-open spaces at the Coastal Cluster were a little surreal. I’m so used to being surrounded by bustling crowds and buildings that I didn’t really know what to do with all of the extra room!
I experienced the same feeling at the Kwandong Hockey Centre (which was inexplicably located about 10 km south of the Coastal Cluster). We were excited and got there early, so the openness was even MORE apparent.
While we were waiting for the queue to open, we passed the time by talking to an older Japanese man about American baseball. He and I have both been to the Royal’s stadium in Kansas City. It’s a small world.
It was so exciting to be inside the hockey arena. These first few pictures make it seem like no one was there, but the space gradually filled up over time.
After a while, we sneakily moved over to join a friend in the actual cheering section. It was tremendous to be suddenly surrounded by passionate fans who were all yelling things in Finnish and Swedish.
Finland ended up cheering more often than Sweden, since Finland basically killed Sweden at that game (7-2 was the final tally). (Sorry, Sweden!! I was rooting for you.)
Later that night, we went to see Women’s Skeleton at the Mountain Cluster. We had to literally walk up a mountain for 30 minutes to get there, but the effort was worth it. Where else was I going to be able to see a bunch of British fans screaming in delight as they watched their athletes win the gold and bronze?
Lizzy Yarnold leapt into the crowd to hug her family after she won her second gold in this sport. It was a remarkable moment to see.
I happened to be standing near one of her family members right after that moment had passed. I smiled and motioned for her to start breathing regularly again. She laughed, put a hand on her chest, and simply said, “My NERVES.”
Ah, the British.
I’m so glad I went to Pyeongchang. I’ve already used this adjective today, but “tremendous” truly describes my time at the Olympics.
(Not to mention the tremendous hats I bought at the super store!)
Happy Olympics, and thanks for reading,